I’m a member of the ACR (American College of Radiology). One of their recent online postings is entitled: Choosing Wisely. Number three (of ten things physicians and patients should question) is: "Avoid admission or preoperative chest X-rays for ambulatory patients with unremarkable history and physical exam." In only 2 percent of cases, will it make a difference in management. Thirteen years ago, I was working on the queue of cases that ...

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“Life is just a short walk from the cradle to the grave, and it sure behooves us to be kind to one another along the way.” - Alice Childress, American playwright, actor, author (1912-1994) I am awakened in the wee hours by the sound of rain.  Ordinarily I would return to bed in hope of stealing more sleep from night, but this particular day I know I have to rise at 4:30 ...

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It was several decades ago when my father, not long retired from a lifetime of denominational service as a chemistry professor, noticed pain in his abdomen.  Initially attributing this to ingestion of some excessively hot tea, he ignored it for a time, hoping that, like many ailments, it would dissipate on its own.  When it did not, he sought medical attention. He ended up at the hospital where I worked, and ...

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"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." - Blanche DuBois, A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams It was near the end of 2008 that I developed symptoms that I recognized as sciatica.  The Internet is a wonderful source of information (and some misinformation).  I decided to educate myself.  In my reading, I encountered one study that indicated that patients who underwent surgery were better at one year, but about the ...

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I sit at my desk in a cubicle with high ceilings and an open entryway.  It is dark except for the somewhat eerie glow of light emitted by CRT monitors.  With concentration and some sense of urgency, I methodically plow through the queue of studies to be interpreted.  Some are marked STAT, some not.  I address the former first. Our ER is a busy one.  Many cases come from that department.  ...

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